This Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of men landing on the moon as the Apollo 11 successfully completed its mission in putting men on the moon (if you believe all that Hollywood hoopla).
To celebrate Apollo 11, Jovial Jay joins shazbazzar and JediShua for a full moon episode with Moony Toons, Moonvies on the silver screen, and the simplistic, slow-paced arcade game from Atari: Lunar Lander.
This Saturday, Huntsville will celebrate the anniversary of Apollo 11, when the first men landed on the moon — probably Houston and Cape Kennedy will too — but TechnoRetro Dads kick off the half-century celebration Monday morning with 77 minutes of lunacy as the 15th episode of the 7th season airs on the 15th day of the 7th month. The zaniness all started when JediShua’s doorbell rang as he was expecting a birthday present to arrive…
Science Lesson: Apollo 11
On 16 July 1969, a Saturn V rocket launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida at 9:32 AM, beginning the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Four days later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin successfully landed on the moon, putting an end to the “space race” between the United States of America and the Soviet Union. The world celebrated the landing confirmed by the immortalized words, “The Eagle has landed,” only to be surpassed by Neil Armstrong’s statement as he placed his footprint on the moon’s surface, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Although some still debate whether the moon landing was genuine or an elaborate hoax, the excitement of those watching and listening on July 20, 1969 briefly united the world as mankind reached their greatest height to date.
TechnoRetro Arcade: Lunar Lander
Ten years after the first manned mission to the surface of the moon (Apollo 11), Atari capitalized on the public’s continuing interest in the moon and space with the vector-graphic arcade game Lunar Lander. The original 1979 game was made of simple graphics constructed of white lines on a black background as players tried to land their lunar module on small, level sites on the surface of the moon before running out of fuel or crashing. Points are earned for each successful moon landing until the player’s supply of fuel or “lunar landers” are exhausted.
Saturday Mornings: Moon-Adjacent Cartoons
Although we don’t remember a cartoon specifically about Apollo 11, in the ‘70s and ‘80s (even the ‘90s), lots of spacetastic cartoons (not necessarily moon-oriented). JediShua, shazbazzar, and Jovial Jay talk about Bravestarr, GoBots, Gilligan’s Planet, Space Cats, and Yogi’s Space Race. A live-action show called Far Out Space Nuts gets an honorable mention because of its relationship to Gilligan’s Planet (Bob Denver).
Let’s Go to the Moonvies: Apollo 13
Ron Howard’s film based on the third mission to put men on the moon is an amazing combination of historical facts and Hollywood effects that continues to stir the emotions of audiences today. The 1995 film is mostly faithful to the events that transpired before, during, and after the “successful failure” of the Apollo 13 mission of 1970 that prevented Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton), and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) from completing their mission and landing on the moon. SPOILER ALERT: Even though they didn’t land on the moon, these astronauts successfully returned to Earth after circling the moon.
Also noted are other “moon landing” movies like First Man (about the Apollo 11 mission), The Right Stuff (test pilots and astronauts), and Airplane II: The Sequel (Captain Kirk’s lunatic binge).
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Join shazbazzar and JediShua each week for a look back at the ’70s and ’80s as they share the fun and also fandom of their youth with their families, friends, and EarBuds. Topics include TV, film, music, toys, and games of the ’70s and ’80s like Atari, Nintendo, Sega, and arcade games as well as franchises which have continued into the 21st Century, like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Muppets, Battlestar Galactica, Dungeons & Dragons, Coca-Cola and more. TechnoRetro Dads creates new stories as old legends are passed down from one generation to the next.
If you’re a TechnoRetro Dad, the child of one, or just appreciate the ’70s and ’80s, then this podcast is definitely for you!